I finally got the website up! I’m pretty proud of myself, because it’s my first website, and I figured out everything through trial & error and reading a LOT of help forums. Jekyll does provide a template for the website, but I had to learn enough HTML, CSS, & Liquid (the templating language Jekyll uses, developed by Shopify) to write & modify everything.

Unfortunately, I kept getting a generic build error, so I ended up building the site locally with the jekyll serve command, and pushing the contents of the _site directory (which is re-written each time you run the build or serve command) to my GitHub repo. I have to use a pretty manual/unsophisticated workflow to update the website for now.

Anyway, GH Pages isn’t handling the actual source code for the blog. It doesn’t have any effect on the website except for the fact that the javascript for my Google Analytics tracker gets stripped out. I doubt anyone’s looking at the site yet, but I do ultimately want to know who/where/when visits, so I have some more troubleshooting to do.

The booksite

Now that the website is up & mostly running, I’ve been finalizing poems, and even writing a few new ones. I haven’t been working on the code or design.

Having gone through the process of setting up a custom domain with GH Pages, I’m a bit worried about getting the book online. Tom Johnson’s doc for his Jekyll theme does include instructions for publishing, but it was also last updated in 2016. I ran into a few issues with this site—the default Jekyll theme—that I’m worried will loom over that project, which is much more customized, and includes some scripting that I don’t fully understand.

The Buffalo Bills

This is the first season since the 90s when I feel like they’re legitimately as good as they look (unlike the flashes of the Losman/Edwards/Fitzpatrick years). Obviously my life will change in zero ways relative to the success or failure of a professional sports team, but it means… I dunno, something… to see Buffalo’s team playing well.

It’s a boring cliche to say that a team is the lifeblood/heartbeat/soul of a town, but people in Rust Belt towns like Buffalo really care about their distractions—myself included, despite trying to ignore games & whole seasons over the past two decades. Like other mid-sized cities, Buffalo is undergoing something of a renaissance right now; but I grew up in the aftermath of the steel & grain industry exodus. Having this team to celebrate means something. I don’t know if I buy into the idea of sports-as-community, but in a crowd of Bills fans, I would without question shotgun a Labatt and body slam a folding table.